Press Statement
Govt must not discriminate against ordinary rakyat by issuing support letters to party members
9 December 2018

We refer to disclosure yesterday that the DPM Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s political secretary had issued a ‘support’ letter for a company connected to a PKR party member to obtain a contract from the Education Ministry.

The practice of issuing support letters for party members to get government contracts was widely practiced by the corrupt and kleptocratic BN regime.

It is a pernicious practice bordering on corruption, and contrary to ethics and good governance. By supporting an applicant simply because he or she is a party member, the office of the deputy prime minister may be denying opportunity to a better qualified ordinary rakyat who had also put in a tender. Is that fair?

This negates everything PH ought to stand for, and is the opposite of the Malaysia Baru that has been promised to us.

It is also an immoral practice. Government is elected into power to serve all citizens equally, and not to give special treatment to party members. Are the rest of the public to be discriminated against simply because they did not become members of the political party that is in power?

This is an abuse of governmental power, pure and simple. It should be remembered that the letter was issued under the letterhead of the DPM herself, the second highest elected public official in the country.

Where then is the change promised so often by Pakatan Harapan?

We urge PM Tun Mahathir and the Cabinet to immediately announce a complete ban on support letters for party members by ministers, political secretaries or official aides.

Meanwhile, the DPM must explain if she was aware that her political secretary was issuing support letters, and particularly whether she was aware of this specific letter. Had she authorised the issuance of such letters?

If she was not aware, it raises the serious question of abuse of the DPM’s letterhead for unauthorised purposes.

On the other hand, if the DPM was aware, then she must explain why she allowed this type of BN-style patronage.

Released by:
Latheefa Koya
Executive Director
Lawyers for Liberty